Warning: The following may contain spoilers up to and including episode one of season six of The Walking Dead.
Huzzah!!! The leaves may fall. People may now wear boots and put out their pumpkins. The Walking Dead is back on television. It is officially fall.
This episode did not disappoint. The big question for viewers seems to be, has Rick gone off the deep end? Or is he the only one who gets it? The episode picked up exactly where the finale of Season five left off… sort of. The use of black and white flash back brought the viewers to the present in that a huge quarry full of walkers has been discovered and it is only a matter of time before they find a way to bust out. The lay of the land will direct them into an aimless shuffle straight for Alexandria. BUM! BUM! BUUUUM!!!
So Rick comes up with an elaborate plan to save the town, because he’s Rick and everyone just sort of does what Rick says, including the ‘leader/ mayor’ of Alexandria, Deanna Monroe. Albeit she is still reeling from the recent death of her husband, Reg, whom Rick immediately avenged in the Season Five finale. So she might be a bit biased.
But as per usual, anytime Rick comes up with a plan to save everyone, cue the naysayers. This particular dialogue is getting a little bit old already in this reviewers opinion. How many times are the newcomers going to have to prove that they know what they are doing, that they have been out there instead of hiding behind walls in their cute little suburban village that might as well be called Denialsville. Perhaps it is symbolic of the faction of society that refuses to accept change, refuses to adapt, even when everything is falling apart around them? Hmm. Anywho, this time the naysayer, Carter (a brilliant performance by Ethan Embry) questions Rick at every turn, even going so far as to attempt sabotage. But Rick is a badass and foils that plan, because of course he does.
Glen also has his moment of badassery when he and a few select team members try to put down a small horde of walkers trapped inside the main building of what seems to be a tractor dealership. Though I will never tire of seeing Glen kick zombie butt, I am getting a little tired of the towns people still doubting his abilities. Also, can we just go ahead and kill off Nicholas?
The scene that had the most takeaway was the small, quiet moment between Rick and Morgan on the porch. There was SO much packed into this it is difficult to know where to start. First of all whenever the show goes quiet like that, it usually means that it is time to sit up and pay attention. There have been a few references here and there that the return of Morgan is symbolic of Rick finding his humanity once more, that they are two sides to the same coin. While I like this kind of yin yang analogy, I do not think that is what is happening here
Rick and Morgan are both men struggling to hold on to what humanity they have left. They are both handling that in different ways, Rick going full on, kill or be killed, protect your own, that sort of thing. Morgan is taking a more Zen approach. Trying to adapt and adjust, watching and waiting. We already know that he had become an expert tracker, and somehow has learned the art of using a staff. (I mean it is pretty impressive to hold one’s own against a zombie horde using nothing but a blunt stick.) In this episode we learned that he is quite observant (I’m talking like, Spidey Sense level observant! Take note, Carol. ) The symbol of humanity in the scene was not either of the men. Rather it was Judith.
It was telling that the baby was included in the scene, which could have played out with only the presence of the men. Judith appeared as a reminder to the audience as to why Rick is behaving the way he is. He has every reason in the world to get up all in charge in everyone’s face, because he is bound and sworn to protect Judith, the one last glimpse of hope that exists between all of them. Add the dynamic of Michone looking on from the doorway, knowing that she and Morgan both have the loss of a child in common between them, and you’ve go the makings of one jam packed parcel of societal symbolism.
All in all the episode did not disappoint. In true Walking Dead fashion the last five minutes left me wanting to yell, “Whaaaaat?” at the screen. This viewer is mega excited about the return of the show. What was your favorite part? Leave a comment.